This is not exactly what I would call a "news", but I figured I should tell about it to all my subscribers since some of them may not know it!
A few days ago I read a news article that said:
"Skype might have to shut down because of a dispute over the core technology used to make the internet telephone system work.
EBay, which paid $2.6 billion (£1.6 billion) for the voice-over-the-internet system in 2005, is facing a court battle with the original founders of the company who retained the rights to the technology at the heart of the system."
Short and sweet, EBay allegedly did not purchase the source code/patent rights to the original VOIP software on which Skype is based! I am saying "allegedly" because this is just unbelievable! I mean, c’mon, if a nut-headed Nuttie Guru makes such a stupid mistake, then it is understandable ;) but …EBay!!! :P
Here is the full article:
Now, for us little guys – forget about who is right or wrong, we really hope that EBay wins this suit because Skype has become almost a part and parcel of our lives! How else could we make long distance calls for a few pennies per call? ;-)
I don’t know about you, but just in case Skype shuts down, I won’t be able to:
1. Call Paypal right from home, that too for so cheap! I could never imagine calling Paypal with the high ISD call rates charged at our local phone booths, and I don’t have ISD connections at home either! :P
Anyone who has dealt with Paypal customer service knows how "good" their "email" customer care is. So when my Paypal account was frozen because of some "suspicious unauthorized activity", I figured I should call them up (rather than email them) for faster resolution!
2. Call my friends living overseas! Not that I call them often, but whenever I want to call them, I use Skype because it is cheap and works OK for me!
3. Chat! ;)
But say, in case Skype really shuts down, what alternatives do we have?
I read through the comments of that article and came up with four possible alternatives:
But wait, maybe we do not really have that many alternatives, for:
So, those living outside US and Canada are left with just:
I looked at Voipstunt and their rates look good; in fact they even give you FREE calls (depending on the country)! However, what matters most to me regarding a VOIP service is its quality and reliability! Now, granted that Skype’s call quality is nothing earth shattering, but, it is not too bad either; it is just OK.
Barring a few exceptions, I have not encountered "poor quality calls"! We also know that the service is reliable because a huge corporate giant, EBay, is behind it! Well, you can say that it is as reliable as Paypal! (kidding) ;)
But what about Voipstunt? I know nothing about it. If I am correct, I am seeing a long road full of trials and errors just in case Skype shuts down!
The purpose of this tiny article is to make everyone realize that while Skype is almost an indispensable tool for us (and I certainly hope it continues to be in operation in the near future), it is certainly not the end of the world. There are other VOIP services (better or worse than Skype) too!
Another reason why I wrote this article is that just in case you know of any "International VOIP Service" other than Skype and VOIPStunt, please do let me know by posting a comment below! :D
Oh, and for your information, I am from India, so make sure the VOIP service you recommend accepts registrations from India, hehe ;)